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2014 NHL Draft

2014 NHL Draft Lottery to be conducted Tuesday

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 3:38 PM / 2014 NHL Draft

NEW YORK – The 2014 NHL Draft Lottery, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 13 picks of the 2014 NHL Draft, will take place Tuesday, April 15, at 8 p.m., ET.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, will announce the results of the Draft Lottery live during a 30-minute program produced and televised by TSN in Canada. The special presentation also will air in the U.S. on NBCSN and will re-air on NHL Network U.S. at 8:30 p.m., ET.

Thirteen of the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs – or the Clubs that have acquired the First-Round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams – will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. The New Jersey Devils will not be eligible to win the Draft Lottery and will select 30th overall in the First Round.


Red Deer prospect Fleury has NHL role model

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

As a toddler Red Deer Rebels defenseman Haydn Fleury had his first brush with the NHL. He just might not have known it at the time.

At age 3 Fleury's babysitter in his hometown of Carlyle, Saskatchewan, was current St. Louis Blues forward Brenden Morrow, then a star with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and a 1997 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars.

The impact of having Morrow around was immediate.

"Growing up I always wanted to be the same number he was," said Fleury, a potential first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. "He was a good role model for me. I know being from a small town he had to move away at a young age to go to Portland. It kind of set me up to want to go the same route he was. He was just a good role model for me as a young kid."


BC's Demko heavy favorite as top draft-eligible goalie

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

When it comes to ranking the top goalies eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, the overwhelming majority consider Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko in a class by himself.

As expected, Demko remained No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings of the top draft-eligible North American goalies, which was released Tuesday.

"He was so far ahead of the under-aged players last year that if he was draft-eligible in 2013 he would have probably been drafted high; that's how far ahead he was then and is now," NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen, who specializes in viewing goaltenders, told NHL.com.

At 6-foot-4, 192 pounds, Jensen likens Demko to fellow American-born goalie and Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson.


Bennett retains top spot on final Central Scouting list

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


In a year when projecting the best player eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft might be as stern a challenge as it's ever been, Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett was the desired choice from start to finish in the minds of the gurus at NHL Central Scouting.

Bennett, considered the top player by Central Scouting in its midterm ranking in January, again is No. 1 on the final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America. Central Scouting on Tuesday released its final rankings of the top North American and European skaters and goalies.


Kapanen, Nylander headline European rankings

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Among European players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, there are several prospects capable of making an impact in the League sooner rather than later. Those top prospects will be on display at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

"There have been stronger draft years for Europeans and this year is average compared to those," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "But I do think 4-6 players could be drafted in the first round."

Stubb has identified two players in a class of their own among the international ranks: right wing Kasperi Kapanen of Kalpa in Finland and center/right wing William Nylander of Modo in Sweden.


NHL.com draft experts predict 2014 first round

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft


The top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft have had a full season to state their case for why they should be considered among the game's next stars.

However, all a highly talented bunch has done is muddy the field NHL teams have to wade through to make their choices.

There's size, skill and talent at every position, and no clear-cut choice for who the best player available is.


Top 2014 NHL Draft prospects offer self-evaluations

Friday, 03.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Prior to the start of every season, NHL Central Scouting already has evaluated hundreds of the top prospects available in the upcoming NHL draft.

In addition to putting together meticulous reports that detail a player's good and bad points, and then sharing them with their colleagues, it's also required that each prospect file some paperwork to Central Scouting.

So long before Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders, Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice and Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts begin a new season, they've already completed the NHL Central Scouting questionnaire.

One of the more intriguing parts of the questionnaire happens to be the section that requires each prospect to admit their strongest asset, weakest area and the NHL player they most resemble. The self-assessments, for the most part, are pretty accurate. They also provide the scouts with a gauge as to what type of player each prospect expects to become.

Here's a summary of what each of the top five North American prospects, top North American goalie and top European skater provided on their questionnaire, followed by an evaluation of that response by NHL Central Scouting.

Players are listed in the order they were ranked in Central Scouting's midterm release in January.


Reinhart poised to become third brother drafted

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League takes pride in the little things that culminate in success.

Possessing great leadership, work ethic and a hockey IQ that is simply off the charts, the 6-foot-0.75, 185-pound right-handed shot could be the highest-drafted Reinhart to lace on the skates.

That's saying a lot, considering he no doubt has quite the hockey pedigree. His two older brothers and father were drafted.

Max Reinhart, 21, was taken by the Calgary Flames in the third round (No. 63) of the 2010 draft. The only defenseman of the three Reinhart brothers, Griffin, 19, was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012. His father, Paul Reinhart, was chosen No. 12 by the Atlanta Flames in 1979.

"Over the years, all of us talked to my dad after every game," Reinhart told NHL.com. "He'd give us advice. Max and Griffin went through the same things I am going through, so being able to watch them has had a huge positive influence on my career; it's nice having both of them."


Choices abound for Central Scouting's No. 1 ranking

Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Is it possible to predict the No. 1 choice at the 2014 NHL Draft in June?

If you were to ask five scouts to provide their top choice right now, you would hear several different names at the top.

At this stage in the season there seems to be four legitimate contenders in the mix for top honors: Forwards Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, and defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

There's also a chance forward Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals of the OHL also might sneak into the mix at some point prior to the announcement of the No. 1 selection June 27 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.


NHL scouts take shot at picking first round of draft

Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

There should be plenty of debate and intrigue when NHL Central Scouting starts its final meetings Wednesday in Toronto as they come together to set the final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft.

While those rankings won't be released until next month, NHL.com has recruited two veteran NHL scouts, one from a team in each conference, in the interim to provide their first-round projections in exchange for anonymity.

The following mock drafts might be the closest thing you'll see anywhere on the Internet in terms of how the opening round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia turn out.

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery